In December, new commercial vehicle registrations continued the downward trend which prevailed throughout 2012, amounting to 125,825 units, according to the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA).
Demand reached its lowest level since October 2009, at -23.4%, with downturns in major markets ranging from -15.5% in the UK to -20.3% in Italy, -21.3% in France, -24.7% in Germany and -34.2% in Spain. From January to December, a total of 1,695,173 new commercial vehicles were registered in the EU, or 12.4% less than in 2011.
The UK (-5.7%) and Germany (-7.0%) performed somewhat similarly, while the French market shrank by 10.3%, and the Spanish (-25.9%) and Italian (-31.7%) faced a more severe downturn.
In December, the EU registered 103,254 new vans, or 24.3% less than in the same month a year earlier. All major markets were down, from -14.2% in the UK to -19.6% in Italy, -21.7% in France, -24.3% in Germany and -32.7% in Spain. Over twelve months, demand for new vans declined by 13.3% in the region, totaling 1,377,283 units. Results were negative across most countries, including the largest markets: -6.0% in Germany, -7.9% in the UK, -10.6% in France, -26.3% in Spain, -32.0% in Italy.
In December, new heavy truck registrations decreased by 21.7%. All significant markets faced a double-digit downturn, ranging from -16.4% in France to -20.2% in Italy, -21.2% in the UK, -27.1% in Germany and -39.6% in Spain. In total, the EU recorded 14,267 new trucks in the month. From January to December, results were diverse as the UK slipped by 0.4%, while France and Germany saw their markets contract by 8.5% and 9.6% respectively. Spain (-20.4%) and Italy (-28.5%) experienced a sharper drop. Overall, the decline was 9.4% in the region, with 214,086 new registrations.
December results were also negative in the segment of new Commercial Vehicles over 3.5t (excluding Buses & Coaches0 (-22.8%), which totaled 19,309 units. All significant markets contracted severely, from -17.1% in France to -22.3% in the UK, -22.8% in Italy, -28.2% in Germany, and -40.5% in Spain. Over the year 2012, demand for trucks was down 9.1% in the EU. The UK was the only major market to expand (+3.5%), while downturn prevailed in France (-7.5%), Germany (-9.8%), Spain (-21.3%) and Italy (-29.4%). In total, 285,809 new trucks were registered in the year.
In December, the EU counted 3,262 new buses and coaches, which was 11.9% more than in the same month in the previous year. The UK (+2.0%) was the only market to expand, while Germany remained stable (-0.1%), and France (-18.1%), Italy (-53.1%) and Spain (-61.5%) recorded negative results. From January to December, the segment of buses and coaches was the only one to grow (+1.4%), boosted by the positive performance in the UK (+31.9%) and Germany (+1.9%). Despite a 10.9% decrease of its demand, the French market remained the second largest, after the UK and before Germany. Italy (-30.4%) and Spain (-38.7%) contracted more severely.